That's where you messed up. You gave them the opportunity to picture a life without you, by being inconsistent. So when they got the strength, they walked away without looking back. No not walked away, they learned to move on.
While every person should be a feminist - many women fight the label. I wear it like a badge of honor - which it is. If that makes me a rare type of woman then so be it. Who wants to fit the status quo anyway?